4 Reasons We Pay for Our Employees’ Netflix Accounts (and you should too)

    By | Small Business

    Last week our company rolled out a new set of perks that aren’t what you typically see on a benefits list. Going forward we’ll be paying for each employee’s accounts on Netflix and Spotify (or other similar services), a magazine and newspaper subscription of their choice, an entry into a race, and a Kindle e-reader and quarterly e-book to go along with it. This is probably the closest we’ll ever get to an Oprah moment.

    The rollout of these ancillary benefits was exciting for everyone. We were excited to announce it, and employees seemed genuinely surprised and appreciative of the new offerings. From idea to announcement was just two short months, and the business case for doing it was pretty clear. The financial investment is relatively low when compared to all of the upsides to be gained. Here are the four reasons we rolled out these new perks to everyone at Go Fish Digital:

    1. It Builds Culture

    I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about company culture. We do things a bit different; from being a mostly remote team to shunning meetings, we always choose efficiency over status quo. However, I’m always concerned about our culture, because I feel that if we don’t make a continual concerted effort to impart who we are on it when we can, that it will instead evolve into whatever the loudest voice wants it to be. By adding some techie, modern, in-touch perks to our benefits package, we are showing what is important. It’s important to be well rounded, to be current and up-to-date, and to understand all of the different media channels.

    2. It Supports Creativity

    We’ve built different content pieces that connect our clients’ products and services to ideas from Shark Tank, House of Cards, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and many other movies and TV shows. Magazine are great at writing catchy headlines and visualizing information, so when we let an employee pick any magazine subscription, we are ensuring that they’ll read it and will absorb some of the strategies employed in it. And by scanning the daily newspaper, they’ll get a better understanding of what is published, which will make our pitches more targeted and successful. As a creative team, it is important to be in touch with both what is popular as well as with what is up and coming. Having your company foot the bill for much of that content helps. Because these are valuable resources that can be directly applied to our work, our CPA, while still reviewing, believes that many of these benefits may actually be tax deductible.  Nice added bonus.

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    3. It Helps with Recruiting

    As a fun, creative, online-focused digital marketing agency, our employees know that we work hard and play hard.  They know that there are some really fun parts of our job, such as staying active on Twitter and keeping a pulse on Reddit. But how can we best reflect that culture to potential hires? Yep, you guessed it, with these new benefits. Now, I don’t expect a candidate to be blown away by having their $11.99/mo. Netflix bill paid for. But, I do think that candidates will get a tiny bit of extra insight into the types of things our company thinks about and values by seeing these added benefits.

    4. It Helps with Retention

    Who would ever consider leaving a job that pays for their Spotify subscription? I kid. But, when a headhunter comes along touting greener pastures, an employee just might see that the new place doesn’t seem to think about the small things as much. And if they don’t think about the small things as much, what about the big things? Plus, I think employees’ friends will be jealous when they hear of what the company is paying for, which probably has some net-positive impact on retention. So far everything has gone over really well. Several employees have already set up their streaming accounts and picked out magazines and newspapers, and we should have everyone fully utilizing the perks in a few weeks. We’ll be keeping an eye out for what seems to be working out well and other benefits that could be added down the road.

    About Brian Patterson

    Brian Patterson is a partner at Go Fish Digital, an online marketing firm based in the Washington, D.C. area. Brian practices and writes extensively on the topics of Online Reputation Management and Search Engine Optimization. His experience ranges from helping small businesses beat out national brands for top industry keywords to helping Fortune 500 companies protect and defend their online reputations.

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